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Chaplain Henry Davidson discusses Inmate Prosthetic Limb Recycling Program

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
January 27, 2019 9:58 pm

Chaplain Henry Davidson discusses Inmate Prosthetic Limb Recycling Program

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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January 27, 2019 9:58 pm

Seven years ago, Standing With Hope launched a program - the only one of it's kind in the world - where inmates helped disassemble donated used prosthetic limbs in order to recycle the parts. Standing With Hope is the presenting sponsor of HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER.  Founded by Gracie and Peter Rosenberger, Standing With Hope has two program areas:

  1. A prosthetic limb outreach to amputees in Ghana, West Africa
  2. An outreach (HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER) to family caregivers ( world-wide)

CoreCivic manages and owns private prisons and detention centers around the country, and hosts many faith-based programs within those facilities.   Standing With Hope is one of those programs located at the Metro Davidson County Detention Centers ( Nashville)

Chaplain Henry Davidson (Pictured with Gracie and shop manager Ms Clayton) called the show and shared the value of this and other programs in helping inmates turn their lives around.  The success rate is astonishing, and the program has a far reaching impact. 

Chaplain Davidson is one of my favorite people in the whole world. His passion for wounded and broken lives is evident in the first moments of meeting him. He and his wife also serve as chaplains for the Metro Nashville Police Department.  

If your company is interested in working with CoreCivic to hire inmates who want to prove they can return to society, rebuild their lives, and make a positive contribution ...please click here to learn more and contact CoreCivic. 


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Gotta have something.

Gotta have something. Welcome back to the show for caregivers about caregivers hosted by a caregiver. This is Peter Correctional Facility, Metro Davidson County Correctional Facility in Nashville, Tennessee. You've been chaplain over there for what, 12 years? I've been over there for 12 years right now. And he is a minister. You know, I gotta tell you something, chaplain. Being a minister is hard enough, but being a chaplain in a correctional facility, that brings a whole different dynamic, doesn't it? God wants me to be, and not only that, but the inmates are in need of a chaplain and a preacher there, so I just go wherever God sends me. But you also serve as a first responder, chaplain, too, with the police department.

And, Sheriff? I do. I do. My wife and I, we've been working with Metro Police Department for about 13 years now. And we do, we are the chaplains that are called out when there's a death. Of course, we go out and we call for the people out there in the community. We work with the police department, we work with the officers, and we just enjoy everything we do.

We just thank God each day for it. Well, the reason I'm having you on is because Standing With Hope is the presenting sponsor of this show, and we have two program areas, the family caregiver outreach, and then a prosthetic limb outreach, which we've had now for, gosh, when did we start that? About seven years ago.

It's been about, right at seven years, that's correct. Well, we launched a program called Standing With Hope. We launched it over there at the prison, and we collect used prosthetic limbs from all over the country, and they go to this particular prison where Chaplain Davidson serves, and he is kind of overseeing all this right now, and has been. You guys got somebody new coming in, or have you hired somebody?

Because you had one guy got promoted, so that you're going to fill that spot. But you're kind of stepping in, aren't you? They will get started in training on this coming Monday, so we are very excited about that. Well, in addition to all the other things you do, you are helping with that program as well, but it's an unusual program. The only one in the world where inmates work to recycle prosthetic limbs, and it's one of the many faith-based programs that CoreCivic has in these facilities that they manage around the country. I think there are 80-something correction facilities at CoreCivic either owns or manages, and faith-based programs are a big part of that journey. Before we get into some more stuff, tell me a little bit about faith-based programs in a correction facility, particularly the one you're in, why that's so important, and what it accomplishes. You're going to get a fresh start, a new start. You're going to have to really learn different ways of doing things, and really through our faith-based program, we're teaching them the same thing.

Mother and grandmother taught them. Now they're able to understand because they're an older age and everything, but those guys are looking for something different. I always tell them, if you tried everything else and really it's gotten you here, so why don't we just try something different? Let's try a faith-based. In Wills for the World, of course, where your program is, Standing with Hope, those guys, they feel like they're doing something, and when they feel like they're giving back to society and changing their minds and hearts, and they see that they can do things different, then they want to become a part of it, and that's the part I like to see. I like to see the change in people.

It's not about me, but it's really about the one who sent me and the change that people are having within themselves. Well, the Wills for the World program you mentioned, that's Johnny Erickson taught us program of wheelchairs. They refurbish donated wheelchairs, and in the same shop, we disassemble and recycle the parts from prosthetic limbs.

So you got Johnny and Gracie both have programs in that area. I remember one time I knew that we had resonated something with the inmates because one of the inmates came up to me when I was visiting and he said, I never thought about people with disabilities until I started working in this program. That's a powerful statement, isn't it?

It is a very powerful statement. I just enjoy what I see. I enjoy what I see in Johnny.

I met Gracie several times. We sat down and talked, laughed, and broke bread together, and to see the joy that happens on her face, I mean, who wouldn't want to be a part of standing with hope? And the inmates feel the same way.

I mean, when they met her, I mean, they looked at their situation, they looked at her, and they're like, well, you know, mine's not nothing. And just to be a part of what I see right now, even with her appearance and the things that she does and you does in the community, it makes the inmates want to become a part of it. I even heard at one point that you received letters from the inmates and they just think it's coming out and they just want to be a part of your program, Standing With Hope. I went over there. I'm always dropping legs off at the prison, which is a little weird. You could always tell when Standing With Hope was having a big week because there's a bunch of used prosthetic limbs waiting to go through screening at the front of the prison there. But I walked in one time and you put me through the training so I could actually walk in unescorted.

I have a badge and everything else. But you put me through training. I went back there and I talked to one of the guys. The first thing he said to me was, you know, please tell Gracie we're praying for her. And these inmates, when they say they're praying, they're serious about it. They are. And what does this mean to inmates for recidivism? I mean, if they go through programs like this, and y'all have various programs, Men of Valor, you have Johnny and Friends with Wheels for the World, you have Standing With Hope. But when they go through these kind of programs, what does it mean for these people, whether they're coming back or not? Well, it means a lot to them. Really, it shows them that, you know, that they are wanted.

Someone cares about them. Not only they are wanted and someone cares, but they are needed also in the community. And once the inmates find out that they are needed in the community, they are loved. And that's what our program does at the prison. I mean, we care about the inmates. We care about them transitioning back into the society. And it just means a whole lot to them that they are not alone and people have not forgotten them.

That's the main thing, that you can come into our prison, into this system, and say you need our help, and we open up and we do what we can do. That just makes a big difference to them. And they're proud of it.

They're proud of it. We have requests for people waiting to get in Wheels for the World, Standing With Hope, oh, I want to do this chapter. I want to be able to give back to the third world.

I want to be able to not just give back here, but I want to give back all over the world. And they are blessed to be able to do that. Well, I know at least several that I've talked to never even heard of the country of Ghana, for example. And here they are actively helping amputees over in the country. Some of them never even heard of until they started working on this program. And they're helping them walk by recycling these parts, helping us strip down. And it's a little bit involved.

It's not hugely technical, but you have to disassemble the prosthesis and inventory all the parts with it and so forth. And it's incredibly important. What does this mean to recidivism to be involved in these programs? Well, the recidivism, there's a decrease in it.

No doubt about it. They find that there's something they can do. And again, as I said earlier, they want to be a part of the program. By the way, for those in McDonkin, recidivism means if they get re-arrested, they get arrested and have to come back. And the goal for correctional facilities is to have a recidivism rate that is just, you know, the lower it gets, the better, because we don't want them to have to come back into the prison system. We want to help them get transitioned back into a better life. And so, you know, go ahead and continue on that.

Sorry to interrupt. That's very important, too, on the recidivism rate, because if we can reduce that rate, community and volunteers and all can come together and do what they need to do in order to reduce that, that makes our community a better place to live. And that's what core saving, that's what all these partners are all about. It's not about just getting them in there and making an income.

Forget about that. We're in there to help them transition back into society so that our societies are better. So, you know, I'm just proud that God sent me to be a part of this organization. And for you and Gracie, oh, man, I don't know how you do it. You're a blessed man. You're a called man of God.

And I'm not just saying that I know what I see and I know what I feel for the things that you do. You work hard. You're always on the run.

You're right. You drop legs off. I get phone calls. Chap, you got some legs up here. You know, that's our album. Come pick them up.

And that's what it's all about. You know, and like you showed me, I put them on the computer and everything. And I think that what we received then goes directly to you. And then we'll start working on them apart and everything and prepare to ship them away for someone, you know, really need. Well, listen, you care for a lot of people. You care for inmates.

You care for cops that are out there in the field. You're on the scene with accidents, with family members. You and your wife both are doing this. Now, you do something. One of the things we talk about in this show, this is hope for the caregiver.

We want caregivers to be able to take care of themselves. You do something very special every Friday night. Tell us what that is. Well, Friday night for two hours, I have to give it all my time through the week to God and to other people. I turn around about two hours. I go bowling. I enjoy bowling. That's the way that I can just relax. My wife and I, we get out there and relax, have fun for two hours.

And after that two hours, it's time to go back to work. Well, now who's better, you or your wife? Well, now, you know I'm not going to say I am better, but we bowl good.

How about that? Now, y'all are serious about bowling, right? We are serious about bowling. My wife is out bowling for about a little bit over a year. She had both knee replacements. And so she's been out for a while.

She hasn't been able to bowl, but she's right there with me, though. Well, I'm glad because I knew you were serious about it because you visit the tomb of the unknown bowler, I think. I mean, you're real serious. Well, listen, Jaffeline, this means so much that you have taken the time to call on this and do this. And I really do appreciate this and the work you do. You bring an enthusiasm, a passion. I want to make sure that you're well taken care of. Are you sure you don't need a third hour on Friday night for bowling? No, sir, not until it comes.

If God give me a third hour, I'll take it. But right now, Peter, I want to say this here, and this is definitely the truth here that I see a lot of people out there, of course, they see you come in, the inmates and everything, but they are glad to be a part of our standard with hope. But I just thank God for you because the thing that you do and the things you do for your wife, as far as taking care of her, I hope a lot of men listen to this show because you are a great man of God.

You're a great husband. You takes care of Gracie. And not only that, but you take care of other people.

Third World countries. And you wait till you spend a lot of your time trying to enable other people to walk and to be happy and everything. And I can imagine, you know, when a person get over there, they are picking up something for the leg or the knee or anything.

And then all of a sudden, you know, they are able to walk and get around. So we just thank you for it. I don't know how much, you know, what people have said, but I'm telling you right now, it's personal coming from me and of course, and all of us, even the inmates. We love you, my wife. We love you. We love you and Gracie.

And one day we'll get you all over for dinner when I can get you to slow up. Well, I will be honored and you've honored me today with this. And thank you for loving on inmates. You know, that's close to the heart of our savior.

He said, you know, when I was in prison, you visited me sick, naked, hungry in prison. That's what he said. And you do that.

You and your wife model that. And if folks want to get involved, go to core civic dot com, because there are a lot of employers out there who may be interested in hiring workers that are wanting to get a second chance. You know, go out to core civic dot com, give them a call and say, as an employer, look, I've got some some some jobs that I could use some employees with that. And I'm willing to take a chance on them because these programs are good.

Real quick, Chaplain, then we got to go. But you said you've been there 12 years and of all that, you'd graduate about 20, 20, 25 people a year. Right through these programs. Yes, I average about 25 a year. I graduate. And that's not counting your program standing with hope. We probably average anywhere a year. We probably get it where maybe 10 guys a year that stays there for a year or two years in your program. So you're looking at over 300 inmates since you've been there. Well, over that, almost 400 inmates that you've been there have been through these kinds of programs.

How many have come back incarcerated? Well, that's a good question. I tell you, I was looking at that, Peter, the other day.

I was just sitting here thinking about it. And I would say that the 12 years I've been there, I probably can count them on both hands. Maybe I don't think we had double numbers.

I don't think that's astonishing. That's that's an impressive number that you've had that many people go through it and that few come back. So that means you guys you guys are getting it done right. Listen, I got to go to a break. And thank you, Chaplain Davison. Thank you. And we'll put this out on the Web site for folks to listen to as well.

So thank you so much for calling in. OK, I'm Gracie Rosenberger. After losing both of my legs, I have a clear understanding of the importance of prosthetic limbs. That's why I founded Standing with Hope, a prosthetic limb ministry helping workers in Ghana provide limbs for their own people. All to point others to Christ. We provide training, equipment and even recycled components from used limbs. I invite you to visit today so you can participate. That's
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-22 00:32:33 / 2024-01-22 00:39:25 / 7

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